Women over 50 who want to reenter the workforce have many challenges that take preparation, planning, persistence, patience and positive attitude. Assessing your skill set and being confident in what you have to offer are the biggest challenges, but the journey is rewarding. Gaining clarity with answering a few personal questions, re-discovering applicable skills and developing new ones are critical in succeeding.
Below are some guidelines to assist with your reentry into the workforce by applying the 5 P’s that will guarantee success.
Preparing to reenter the workforce begins with assessing your financial budget needs and hours available to work. Do you need a certain weekly income to cover your bills? How many hours a week are you able to commit? Are you looking for something flexible? Do you mind commuting, or would you prefer something close to home with flexible hours? Answering these questions honestly, helps to begin the job search process.
Assessing your personality and work skills also help to prepare. A good resource is Dick Bolles’ book, “What Color Is Your Parachute” where he recommends taking a self inventory. “You begin with yourself instead of the job-market. You figure out who you are, and what you most love to do. Then you decide which organizations match you.” There are several online assessments such as the DISC or Myers Briggs personality tests that can guide you as you reenter the workforce. This information gives you personality insight in selecting an industry and jobs you are most suited.
Planning your strategy by updating your communication tools such as the LinkedIn profile, cover letter and resume will help to effectively market yourself to others as you reenter the workforce. Always be ready to present your skills and job search in a positive light to any person. This may also include developing a short bio of your skill set as a mini sales pitch. Always be ready; anyone could know of someone looking for someone just like you! This brings one of the most important aspects of a job search – networking.
Be persistent in reaching out to others and making opportunities to build new relationships. There are many opportunities to network. Participating in fitness groups such as triathlons, martial arts, running groups, masters swim clubs, church, etc. always have professionals who participate in these types of activities that can help to build relationships. Volunteer at organizations or nonprofits that align with your interests. These are a few ways to stretch your reach in meeting people who can help find fulfilling work.
The last two P’s, patience and positive attitude, are critical to opening doors where you thought none existed. It’s okay to not know what might happen next. It’s even better to practice patience and be positive. These personal qualities attract the right people at the right time for the right purpose and that equals happiness and fulfillment.
May the P’s be with you!